Brazil has overtaken India to have the second highest number of COVID-19 infections, one year since the pandemic. It also has the second highest death toll.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, 11,439,558 people have been infected with the disease, which makes Brazil second only to the US, where in excess of 25 million people have been infected. A total 277,102 people have died in Brazil.
Health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapsing because of the high number of COVID-19 cases, the BBC quoted the country’s leading health institute, Fiocruz, last week. More than 80 per cent of intensive care unit beds are occupied in the capitals of 25 of the country’s 27 states.
Beyond a lack of adherence to the protocols among several in the population, the country has also been struggling with a highly contagious variant of the virus. The BBC said experts have warned that the highly contagious variant in Brazil may have knock-on effects in the region and beyond.
“Brazil is a threat to humanity,” Fiocruz epidemiologist Jesem Orellana told the AFP news agency.
The country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, also continues to be blamed for downplaying the threat of the disease.